Thursday, November 5, 2009

Active Air Freshener

A Japanese Inventor has a car-bourne device to take the bad odors from an old car out of the compartment, using only water and electricity, both readily replaceable on the road, and neither one expensive.
"So the air is stale, big deal, cars don't smell that bad." I can hear you say. "And besides, car fresheners have existed for over 50 years now."
Smoking is way more common in Japan than in the United States. Half of Japanese adults smoke. Smoke quite a lot at that too. Many of their cars probably smell like an ancient ashtray. On top of that, the workday is really really long in much of Asia, leaving very little time to, you know, clean or freshen it. That special sauce that dripped into the carpet during the lunch rush? It's going to sit around and go bad, and mix with the cigarette funk. The article also mentions pollen.
Most impressively, the device works with 120ml (1/2 cup) of water and 12 volts, endlessly. The water's good for a day, and 12 volt accessories have been around since my father had his first car, they'll hardly be missed by the engine. (Compare this to traditional air fresheners, which work by being a scent infused chunk of fabric that will quickly run dry of perfume and need to be thrown away.)
As far as I'm able to trace with my limited translational tools, the sponsoring company, "Seiwa," is a maker of car accessories. This new product of theirs seems like a logical line extension.
I'm very impressed with Japan's use of environmental technology, and as far as I can tell, so is Japan. Part of the reason that I'm impressed is because they really don't have to. It would not harm their populace in the slightest if they polluted as much as Russia, or even the United States (Japan has about half the population of the United States, crammed into a series of islands about the size of California.) Japan is also deeply industrialized, which in most countries means a lot of pollution.

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